The school year is coming to a close, which means my junior year of high school is ending. I’ve learned a lot and been through a lot, but the one thing that keeps me motivated every day are the people I have the honor of helping.
I’m very happy to say that I’ve found what I aspire to do as a career; I’d love to work in the field of special education. If you haven’t read in my past blog posts, last fall I became a peer tutor for students enrolled in the special education program at my school. This experience has taught me a lot and I know it is what I’m truly passionate about.
My favorite part of peer tutoring is being able to talk and connect with the students I help. For instance, I am a huge fan of the British rock band, the Beatles. When I saw one of my students walk into class wearing a Beatles shirt, I instantly began asking him what his favorite songs were, or who is favorite band member was. I would ask the student to sing his favorite song to me, which was “Birthday”, and we would begin to sing a duet.
I found out that another of of my students really liked Disney, especially the movie Frozen. We would bond over our favorite characters and princesses, and which rides at the theme park were the best. I would wear a shirt that I had bought prior to school starting that had the main characters of Frozen on it, and I could the student’s face light up.
Towards the end of the year, the same student grew fond of the Beatles and she began to strike up conversations with me about them. She would constantly tell me how much she loved Paul McCartney and ask me questions about the band. When I told her I had watched the Beatles movie Help! over the weekend, she was ecstatic.
Since the beginning of the school year, another student of mine stops by where my friends and I sit for lunch each day. At first, he seemed a little timid about talking to my friends, but once I introduced him to each of them, he became more social with all of us. My friends ask him about his day and you could tell that it made him happy to have a group of people to come to when he wants to talk or hang out.
I had the opportunity to meet the parents of some of these students at a school function a few weeks ago. When one of my students saw me walk in the room, she began to wave and ran to give me a hug. It’s special to see that I’ve made some sort of impact on her that made her so happy to see me.
It’s the small connections like these that make my elective as a peer tutor worthwhile. Each day when I come home after school, I can’t wait to tell my family about what my students are up to. I can’t explain how happy it makes me to see the students I assist learn and excel. I have found my passion and I know what I want to do with my life. I hope to help other students grow, make friendships, learn, and connect with others, whether that’s inside or outside of the special education classroom. These students never fail to make me smile and I truly love being able to assist them.